"THE GOD WHO CAN DELIVER YOU!"

Written and preached by David P. Nolte

EXODUS 3:1-17


Two buddies were serving together in the mud and misery of WWI. Month after month they lived in the trenches, in the cold and the mud, under fire and under orders. From time to time one side or the other would rise up out of the trenches, fling their bodies against the opposing line and slink back to bind their wounds, tag their dead, and wait to do it all over again. In the process, friendships were forged in the crucible of misery. The two buddies, Jim and Bill, more brothers than friends, were particularly close. Day after day, night after night, terror after terror, they talked of life, of families, of hopes, of what they would do when (and if) they returned from this horror. They knew one another intimately, and cared for one another deeply. Their story illustrates how God viewed and acted toward ancient Israel. In a similar vein, God knew ancient Israel intimately and cared deeply for them, as He does today for His church. As we think of that there are some vital truths to remember about the God who can deliver us.

Jim and Bill fought side by side. On one charge Jim fell, severely wounded. His friend, Bill, made it back to the relative safety of the trenches. Meanwhile Jim lay suffering beneath the night flares. Between the trenches. Alone. The shelling continued. The danger was at its peak. Between the trenches was no place to be. Still, Bill wanted to reach his friend, to comfort him, to offer encouragement, to help and rescue him if possible. The officer in charge refused to let Bill leave the trench. It was simply too dangerous. But Bill was painfully aware of his friend's plight and could not shrug it off, danger or no danger. As God views us from heaven, He observes what we are experiencing and does not just shrug it off.

Bill was keenly aware of, and distressed by , his friend's situation. The officer had forbidden Bill to take the risk of rescuing his buddy. But as he turned his back, Bill went over the top. Ignoring the smell of gunpowder in the air, the concussion of incoming rounds, and the pounding in his chest, Bill made it to Jim. Then, crawling as low to the ground as possible, inch by inch, moment by moment, He managed to drag Jim back to the safety of the trenches. He was committed, even at peril to his own life, to do what he could to rescue his fallen comrade.

Bill fulfilled His commitment of friendship; He crawled out to His wounded friend, and drug him back to the trenches ...too late. His friend was gone. The hard, self righteous officer, seeing Jim's body, cynically asked Bill if it had been worth the risk. Bill's response was without hesitation. "Yes, sir, it was. His last words made it more than worth it. He looked up at me and said, 'I knew you'd come.'" We have the biblical assurance that God will come to our aid. God is never too late, nor is He too early. He may deliver us in this life -- or the next. But for those who put faith in Jesus Christ, deliverance is a given. He can deliver us from fear of death; He can deliver us from our failures; He can deliver us from all our besetting sins; He can deliver us from alcohol and drugs and illicit sex; He can deliver us from pride and self-righteousness; He can deliver us from the wrath of God and certain destruction which comes upon the Godless. He is able to deliver us -- He is able, ready and willing -- He is the God who can deliver you today.

STORIES FOR THE HEART, COMPILED BY ALICE GRAY, MULTNOMAH BOOKS, SISTERS, OREGON


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